Monday, April 6, 2009

Crazy Monday

I am hoping to get back in the swing of things - the house is a mess, suitcases are still unpacked (I loathe this part of traveling), email inbox is full, taxes need to be paid, mail needs to be read, the office looks like a cyclone went through it and I have yet to shower. BUT the sun is shining and there are blue skies - it's going to be a good productive day!
Few things to mention:
  • Wicked is an amazing musical! The costumes, set and the voice of the main character Elphie blew me away. Put this on your list of must sees!
  • I am working on this knitting project right now and my friend Lynne gave me a link to this site that has been so helpful! If you want to pick up knitting for the first time and don't have time to take a class this will help you along the way.
  • Cathy never ceases to amaze me - check out her new blog series called Design Do-overs. 
Daily Grind...is back! On Friday I weighed in, after coming back from vacation and I maintained! Very happy with this given the fact that the workout clothes never saw any part of the East coast. I attribute most of the maintaining because I took the handy Advocare shakes with me and had those for breakfast and lunch while also taking my MNS supplements. There were a few days that I opted for Chick Fil A at lunch but dinners we splurged on seafood! I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike and exercise routine.

Kindle 2: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)
Today I also want to review the Kindle 2 for you since I had a chance to take it with me on this last vacation. So far I LOVE it and my buyers remorse is gone. See, after I received the Kindle several weeks ago I was still fretting over the price tag of $359. I can justify the price tag of my iPhone because I use it everyday and it is my bloodline to work. The Kindle was strictly a 'pleasure' purchase and in this economy I feel that those need to be few and far between. But after hearing from a few friends and Kirk was tired of me talking about it incessantly he pulled the trigger for me! :) Not sure if that was my plan - but I was talking about it almost everyday...the pros and cons, and if I should be making that kind of purchase at this time, would I miss reading paper books, would I miss the smell of a new book,I also watched every YouTube video out there - my favorite is this one from the Charlie Rose show. (BTW - Charlie Rose is one of my all time favorite journalist/interviewers!) and I loved this review from Seth Godin, of course all met with the rolling of the eyes and comments about how I should buy it since it would pay for itself in 10 months. How would it pay for itself? I usually buy new release books and I support my local book store so we are talking about $20 to $30 for a new book.
Here is my pros list thus far:
  • Portability - hands down #1 feature for me. Like I mention here - I was 3/4 of the way through Gate House, hard back and a pretty heafty book to carry around. I went ahead and downloaded it before I left and finished reading it on the first leg of our trip. If I had the book version I would have had to carry that book around for the next five days in my suitcase!
  • Book collection is at your finger tips - I downloaded about 20 books before we left, when I was finished with Gate House I was able to choose from a list and not the limited selection that would fit into my suitcase. One huge benefit was since I finished a book on the first leg and we still had four hours to go - I had reading available to me. In the past I would have had to carry two books or buy another one during our layover. 
  • Ergonomics - no need to hold a book open! It will be perfect for working out on the treadmill or exercise bike.
  • Visual - I believe that this device is actually easier on my eyes than reading on paper.  I can also read much longer than usual too - I don't wear glasses but sometimes when I am 'marathon' reading I need to rest my eyes. I usually need to do this quite a bit on the plane because of the dry air but didn't experience this as much. 
  • Battery life was pretty good - I had to charge it on our layover but that was because I didn't fully charge it before we left. On the way home I read the whole way and only used 1/4 of the battery.
  • Space in our house - this is going to be a huge undertaking but I am going to be selling and giving away 100s of books. This is a great way to DE-CLUTTER the house!
  • Subscription to USA Today without all the daily paper! We LOVE USA Today.
  • And last I believe that the Kindle has an opprortunity to be a powerful reading tool. It has the potential to encourage more of our youth to read. It seems that they respond to this digital delivery (of anything) more positively.  Hopefully sight impaired people can benefit from the audio feature and the ability to increase the font size. And one of the things that I would love to see is the ability for college students to buy their books in this format - huge cost savings and no need to lug 50 pounds of books around!
Some cons:
  • Of course the $359 price tag - while I think it's worth it, it is a heafty price tag for today. But I am confident that it will come down over the next few years as it gets cheaper for them to manufacture.
  • It is a computer device so on a plane you have to shut it down during take off and landings. With a traditional book you can be reading the whole time.
  • You need to buy the cover the light separately - and yes you need these two items. It is great in bright light (sun) but in low light you need something like the Mighty light.
  • No sharing of books with friends - I always liked to pass on books or share them with others. Gone are those days - my friends are kind of bummed.
  • Interface is a little confusing - but I think that is because I haven't gone through the directions/tutorial. I am definitely fumbling my way through menus.
  • Reference/Business books - At this time I won't be buying any of these on the Kindle. Mainly because I write in them and crease my pages down for reference in the future. It does have the ability to make notes but at this time I am not comfortable with it.
I will keep you updated on my travels with the Kindle. Be sure to watch the development of this reading device - if you are a passionate reader this may be the next tech gadget for you!
Happy Monday!

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